2016-17 Pac-12 Women's Basketball media honors
SEATTLE - A panel of Pac-12 women’s basketball media members who cover the league were nearly in total agreement with the coaches when the media voted WASHINGTON’s Kelsey Plum the Pac-12 Player of the Year, OREGON’s Sabrina Ionescu the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and OREGON STATE’s Scott Rueck the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. The media also voted UCLA’s Jordin Canada the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Kelsey Plum (Poway, Calif.) has put together a historic season, resulting in several record-breaking moments. She opened the season breaking the Pac-12’s all-time scoring record 11 games into her senior campaign, then ended the regular season breaking the NCAA’s all-time scoring record which had stood for 16 years. Along the way, she has also several more records and is approaching another, eyeing the NCAA’s all-time free throw career mark. Plum has led the Huskies to a tie for second place in the Pac-12 and a No. 3 seeding in the Pac-12 Tournament, while leading the country with a 31.6 points per game average. It is the highest seeding for UW since 2002 and 2003. A candidate for national player of the year, she was named ESPNW National Player of the Week three times this season.
Sabrina Ionescu (Walnut Creek, Calif.) has started every game she has played in, averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while also averaging a team-best 5.65 assists per game. She also ranks 12th in the Pac-12 in scoring, 10th in rebounding and third in assists. She has also recorded a nation’s-leading four triple-doubles this season, one shy of the single-season Pac-12 record, while leading the Ducks to a No. 6 seeding overall. She led UO to an early-season upset of Michigan State in November and a league-upset of UCLA in February. Ionescu was voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, an award also voted on by Pac-12 women’s basketball media, four times and was once the USBWA National Freshman of the Week.
Jordin Canada (Los Angeles, Calif.) is the media’s defensive player of the year after leading the No. 15 Bruins to a No. 4 seeding in the Pac-12 Tournament and a first-round bye. The junior guard is the Conference’s steals leader, averaging 2.48 steals per game, also helping the team post the second-best team steals average in the league (10.38). She also helps the Bruins log the second-best turnover margin in the league at +5.21, forcing opponents to turnover the ball at a rate of 17.6 turnovers per game. Canada is the league’s third-leading scorer at 17.5 ppg and also ranks 17th with 5.4 rebounds per game.
OSU’s Scott Rueck earns the media’s coach of the year honor for the fourth time in the eight-year history of the award. Rueck has led the Beavers to a third-straight league regular-season title and third-straight No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament after his squad was picked to finish fifth in the media’s preseason poll. Posting a 16-2 league record and 27-3 overall, OSU also started the season ranks No. 25 in the preseason poll and has climbed up to No. 6 this week as the postseason gets underway in Seattle. Known for their defense, Rueck’s team has limited opponents to a 34.4 shooting percentage, which ranks seventh in the NCAA. The Beavers also boast the fourth-best rebounding margin in the country at +11.2 rpg.
The media also selected a 15-member All-Pac-12 team, a five-member All-Defensive team and a five-member All-Freshman team.
It is the eighth year of the Pac-12 media awards and are in addition to the Conference awards voted on by the league coaches, which were announced on Tuesday. The panel included local and national media members.
2017 Pac-12 Media All-Pac-12:
Kristine Anigwe, CAL; Monique Billings, UCLA; Sophie Brunner, ASU; Jordin Canada, UCLA; Ruthy Hebard, ORE; Sabrina Ionescu, ORE; LaBrittney Jones, ARIZ; Kennedy Leonard, COLO; Erica McCall, STAN; Chantel Osahor, WASH; Kelsey Plum, WASH; Emily Potter, UTAH; Karlie Samuelson, STAN; Kristen Simon, USC; Sydney Wiese, OSU.
2017 Media All-Defensive Team:
Monique Billings, UCLA; Jordin Canada, UCLA; Gabriella Hanson, OSU; Chantel Osahor, WASH; Emily Potter, UTAH.
2017 Pac-12 Media All-Freshman Team:
Ruthy Hebard, ORE; Sabrina Ionescu, ORE; Aarion McDonald, WASH; Minyon Moore, USC; Mikayla Pivec, OSU.
The 2017 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament gets underway this week, March 2-5, at KeyArena in Seattle. The winner claims the Conference’s NCAA automatic bid. To follow the tournament with the latest news, notes, photos and videos, and to buy tickets, visit www.pac-12.com/womenstourney.